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Western Heritage Center: High Noon Lecture Series
July 15 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pmFree
Women Ranchers: The Photography of Barbara Van Cleve
Renowned Montana artist Barbara Van Cleve will deliver a free program at the Western Heritage Center (WHC) on Thursday, July 15 at 12 pm, as part of the High Noon lecture series. She will discuss her art, including “Women Ranchers: The Photographs of Barbara Van Cleve” now on display at the WHC, and share stories of her own experiences living and working in the Crazy Mountains countryside.
With a strong voice and vision, Van Cleve will share a deeply personal perspective on the landscapes, animals, and people who populate her work. Those who have lived an agricultural life may find their own experiences reflected in her black and white photographs, while other guests will find their eyes opened to a whole new world. Van Cleve’s highly acclaimed book, “Hard Twist: Western Ranch Women,” has been very popular locally and was recently restocked by the WHC bookstore.
Van Cleve, raised in Big Timber, was a horsewoman and camera enthusiast from an early age. She pursued an academic career before taking up photography full-time and returning home to year-round ranch life. Over the years, Van Cleve’s talent and hard work have led to multiple awards, including induction into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and the Western Heritage Award for Best Photography Book in 2017. Van Cleve’s work is regularly featured in solo and group exhibitions seen all over the United States.
“The Western Heritage Center is absolutely looking forward to Barbara’s High Noon presentation,” enthused Executive Director Kevin Kooistra, who is a long-time fan of her work. “To host an artist and author of her stature is very exciting. We’ve had so much interest from art lovers and history buffs in Billings and the whole region – we definitely expect a large turnout.” Kooistra added that the WHC is greatly appreciative of Conrad and Michelle Caron, long-time volunteers and community leaders who sponsored this High Noon lecture, “Local donations are essential to share these stories and spotlight these incredibly talented people, and gifts like the Carons’ make it possible to offer free education programs.”
Community Historian Lauren Hunley also shared that “Barbara captures the history, customs, and beauty of Montana ranch life in a unique way that reflects both modern challenges and old traditions. From shots of calving to her stunning night photography, she tells a fascinating story that is important to the past, present, and future of the West.”
The Western Heritage Center is located at 2822 Montana Avenue, in downtown Billings. Admission to the High Noon program is free, and tickets for general admission to the museum are $5 for adults, $3 for students, seniors, and military members, and $1 for children under 12. The WHC is open Tues – Sat, 10 am – 5 pm, and “Women Ranchers: The Photographs of Barbara Van Cleve” will be on display until September 25.
Sponsor: Michelle & Conrad Caron
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